Firefox Gains some VoiceOver Support

Mozilla released Firefox 16 yesterday, and one of the new and exciting additions to the web browser is some initial support for VoiceOver. It is far from perfect, but it is certainly a continues step forward towards full accessibility. I wouldn’t say it’s a version you would want to try to use daily, as it can be sluggish using VO, but I surely recommend to download and try it. Also, let the Mozilla people know that we are glad to see them moving towards making Firefox accessible on the mac. This would give us another alternative to go with Safari, Chrome, Lightning and Omni Web, as we browser that work with VoiceOver.

You can download Firefox 16
from here.

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Laugh for Site

Obviously, this website is dedicated for resources for users of the Mac or iDevices, both beginners and experienced alike. I don’t often present off topic posts, but I wanted to post a message from a good friend of mine in regard to the organization he represents. Many of you live outside of New York, but please spread the word and repost this in as many places as you can. It would be much appreciated.

Thank You

Greetings all,

I wanted to let you know that tickets are now on sale for Laugh For Sight NYC on Monday, October 29, 2012 at Gotham Comedy Club. We are thrilled to announce that Bonnie Bernstein of ESPN will be this year’s Celebrity Host, and joined by Legendary Comedian, Robert Klein, Eddie Brill, Bonnie McFarlane, Paul Mecurio, Jim Norton, Rich Vos, and more! This year’s Silent Auction will start at 7pm followed by the Comedy Show at 830PM. Tickets can be purchased by going to, and clicking on the date 10/29, calling 212-367-9000, or by clicking on this link directly

General Admission is $35 and VIP Reserved Seating is $75 both ticket prices are plus a two drink/item minimum. All attendees are invited to the Silent Auction. Donors to the silent auction include The Daily show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, The Jimmy Fallon Show, Comedy Central, Eli Manning, Rock of Ages, Felix rey, Susan Michel Limited, and much more. For up to the minute updates make sure to follow Laugh For Sight on Twitter at @LaughForSight

Hope to see you there, or in a lot of our cases hear ya!


Brian Fischler
Brian Fischler

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A Year Since the Passing of Steve Jobs

It is a year today since Steve Jobs passed away from cancer. He was a man taken far before his time, and one of the true heroes I have had in my lifetime.

I can still remember the shock and sadness I felt when I first heard the news that he had died. I was at a friend’s house, and I can still recall sitting back on her couch feeling the complete sense of shock and disappointment. It was, unfortunately, something many had suspected would occur, but the reality of it happening was still stunning and very much like a bad dream come to life.

Today, on
Apple’s website
there is a short tribute to Steve Jobs and a message from Tim Cook. Hearing Steve’s voice again brought chills to me, and the moments you will hear replayed were a few of his greatest.

The contributions of Steve Jobs will continue to be felt and enjoyed for years to come, and his effect on the world of technology will echo throughout eternity. Today and for the rest of my life, Mr. Jobs will continue to be missed.

In Memory of Steven P. Jobs, one year since his untimely death

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Cool stuff

Since I am often told that I don’t really toot my own horn, I am going to post quickly here to let you guys know I’ll be doing my first podcast with the folks. I am honored and privileged to be a part of the knights of the round table. If you would like details on how to listen to what will be a live streaming at noon Eastern and 9 Pacific, please see

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Updates, 9/29/12

Just a quick update. I added the iPhone 5 and iOS 6 user guide in RTF format to the
Documentation section
of the site.

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Updates, 9/26/12

My apologies. Part 2 of my Finder audio demonstration series, Episode 19, is now up on the site and available in iTunes. I forgot to add the link this weekend.

I continue by talking specifically about the default folder structure of the Finder. Additionally, I explore the components of the Finder window and what you will discover as you navigate the interface.
You can find the episode on the site

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iOS 6 Is Here

It shouldn’t be real news to everyone at this point that iOS 6, Apple’s 6th version of their operating system for their mobile devices, is now available. If you are running iOS5, you can do an over there air update without the need for iTunes and your computer provided you have the iDevice plugs into power. You can, of course, also do the update via iTunes with your iDevice connected.

I have updated both my iPhone 4S and my new iPad. Just as some information from my experience and from what I have read on a few lists, the update might speed up and slow down as it progresses. Also, it might particularly stall for a bit when it reaches 94 or 96 percent complete for the download. If this occurs, just remain patient and let it finish.

Once the update does finish downloading, your device will reboot and it will take a bit of time for it to restart. Again, don’t get nervous or concerned. It will reboot. Once it does, you will have a couple of configuration screens to go through before you can start using iOS 6.

As some informational links to help you get started, you can
read here
for a very comprehensive description of what is new in iOS 6 for accessibility and VoiceOver from the Maccessibility folks.

Also, there is information on the Applevis site, and they have some podcasts on some of the new features, which can be found

For another podcast as a quick overview of iOS 6, you can also
check this out.

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The Problem Lies Between the Chair and the Phone

I did take the plunge yesterday. Yes, I decided to order or preorder the iPhone 5. I wasn’t due for an upgrade on my AT&T contract, but I weighed my options and I decided to go for it. It wasn’t as easy a decision as one might think, but that was because of the financial considerations. However, the deed is done.

The “story” here, though is my adventure actually preordering the iPhone 5. This is more for the sake of entertainment than anything educational, so if you feel off topic is not of interest, you surely don’t have to read this post.

I had a client to train in the morning and then my following one canceled because of illness. So, there I was just after 10 in the morning with my chance to preorder my phone. I decided to call AT&T directly to place the order in the hopes of somehow haggling or shaking a better deal than paying full price for the device. I knew using the online avenue would have been easier, but I really wanted to talk to a representative and give it a shot as far as working at some sort of better deal. As much as I had promised myself after my iPhone 4S experience that I’d never order another phone from AT&T directly again, I thought it would be my best option to place the preorder this time around. Continue reading

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Updates, 9/13/12

I just added Episode 18 of the Audio Demonstration Series. This is the first part of a 3 part series I have done on using the Finder. It is not detailed, but it will, hopefully, help folks understand how the Finder works and how to navigate it. It is available in iTunes, or you can
go here to access the demo.

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The iPhone 5 Event, Some Random Thoughts and Opinions

Apple events are always interesting and fascinating to me. I must first say a big thank you to the great people who take part in the Maccessibility Round Table for inviting me to take part in their live streaming of today’s event. I had a lot of fun, and it made the event that much more entertaining and enjoyable for me. Thanks again to Josh and the gang for asking me to be involved.

I’m not going to necessarily cover all of the items from the keynote today as you can find details in several places and I sum things up in the
News section of the site

To me, obviously, though, the introduction of the iPhone 5 was the most highly anticipated part of the presentation. The sad part is, by now, there really wasn’t much left as far a secrets or surprises go, and I have found it amusing how some have lamented about the lack of this or that in regard to what Apple had to say about the new iPhone. It’s all been pretty much discussed in rumors as it was, and there were even leaked pictures of the device floating around. Thus, what could Apple possibly do that would be a surprise to the world?

The a6 processor and the fact that it’s lighter and thinner were some of the aspects of the iPhone 5 that interested me. The addition of the device supporting Dual-band 802.11n wireless connectivity and having LTE were nice additions too. The new 8MP camera, I hope, might lead to improvements in OCR applications for the blind, but the improved graphics with the 4 inch Retina display is more “eye candy” for the sighted consumer than anything that got me excited.

As when the iPhone 4S was released, whether the new model is for you is purely an individual choice. If you are at the point where you can upgrade your existing phone, I’d strongly recommend it. If you have a phone and are locked into a contract, it’s probably not worth the extra purchase. I might end up buying one because of the fact I train people on the iPhone and a large share of my clients are iDevice users, but that is strictly a personal situation. Basically, if you don’t need to upgrade, there probably isn’t anything that compelling about the iPhone 5 that would cause you to unnecessarily make such a purchase. Continue reading

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